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Serving Court Documents

What Does it Mean to "Serve Papers"?

Serving papers on another person is an official handing over of documents. Papers must be "served" on any other person who is involved in the law suit or who the law requires get the papers.

This lets the person(s) in the case know what you are telling the court and what you are asking court to do.

If the papers are not served in the correct way at the correct time, the court cannot go forward with the case.

A person is served when they officially receive the papers.

Papers which start an action (Summons, Petition, Order to Show Cause, etc) must be filed first and then served on the other person(s).

Even if the law does not require a particular paper to be served before filing, it is a good idea to file all papers first then have them served with the Court's file stamp on them.

After the papers are served, a Proof of Service form must be filled out and signed by the person who served the papers. The Proof of Service form must be filed with the court.

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